A Mexican presidential hopeful has officially filed a petition with an international human rights commission, denouncing US President Donald Trump’s planned construction of a wall on the US-Mexico border.
The petition was filed by Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, the leader of the left-wing political party MORENA and the front-runner in Mexico’s 2018 presidential race, with the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights on Wednesday.
On January 25, the US president ordered executive actions to begin the construction of the border wall on the Mexican border to stop illegal immigrants from entering the US and increase the number of immigration enforcement officers who carry out deportations in the US.
Lopez Obrador said he expected the commission to “speak out in accordance with the law to protect immigrants from the harassment they are suffering since Trump took office.”
The leftist leader said he hoped the commission, which is tasked with the promotion and protection of human rights in the Americas, would view Trump’s moves as a “violation of human rights and discriminatory.”
Some 12,000 people, including Mexican and US citizens, have signed the petition.
During his 2016 election campaign, Trump had described illegal Mexican immigrants entering the US as “rapists” and “murderers” and insisted that Mexico would have to pay for his planned wall, generating diplomatic tensions with Mexico City.
Lopez Obrador also took a jab at Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto, saying that the Mexican president was acting submissively and not defending the human rights of immigrants.
“We are proceeding legally against the complete absence of the Mexican government,” the opposition leader said.
He also accused Mexican government officials of lacking moral authority to speak up on behalf of immigrants in the US because of what he said was corruption in the government.
Nieto canceled a planned January visit to Washington after Trump said it would be better for the Mexican leader not to visit if Mexico was not going to pay for his wall. Mexican officials, including Pena Nieto himself, had made it clear on a number of occasions that Mexico would not be paying for the project, which is estimated to cost at least eight billion dollars.